Friday, June 18, 2010

The Kingdoms of Cain and Seth

The dark red spot in central Africa marks Noah's homeland near Lake Chad.
Noah is a direct descendant of both Proto-Saharan rulers Cain (Gen. 4) and Seth (Gen. 5). 

Alice C. Linsley

Analysis of the marriage and ascendancy pattern of Abraham's ancestors indicates that Cain and Seth married the daughters of a chief named Nok/Enoch. These brides named their first born sons Enoch after their father, which is why both Cain and Seth have first born sons named Enoch.

The naming prerogative of royal cousin brides permitted them to name their first-born sons after their fathers. This naming evidence indicates that Cain and Seth married patrilineal cousins. This prerogative did not pertain to half-sister brides. 

If we read the first 5 chapters of Genesis chronologically, we might conclude that Adam and Eve are the parents of Cain and Seth. This is not what the text actually tells us, however. Eve's declaration upon giving birth to Cain was qanitti (as E.A. Speiser notes), suggesting that she believed she had brought forth a ruler with God's help. Cain or Kain is a variant of the words kahn and king and throughout the Bible Cain stands as the archetypal earthly ruler.

Genesis 4 and 5 provides data about the royal lines of Cain and Seth. Their first-born sons were named for their maternal grandfather, a ruler in the well-watered region of Eden which is described in Genesis 2 as extending from the sources of the Nile in Uganda and Ethiopia to the Tigris and Euphrates.

The ancients understood the difference between historical and metahistorical and often paralleled the two. This is why the names Adam and Enosh are paralleled in Psalm 8, which in Hebrew reads:

                                        What is Man (Enosh) that you are mindful of him,
                                        the son of Man (ben Adam) that you care for him?

The parallelism suggests that both Adam and Enosh should be viewed as eponymous fathers: Adam is to the Edomite Hebrew what Enoch is the Anakim of Hebron. Analysis of the marriage and ascendancy pattern of Abraham's ancestors indicates that Cain married a daughter of Enoch, a patrilineal cousin. The latter appears to be the case since it was the cousin bride who named her first born son after her father. Likewise, Seth married a daughter of Enoch.

That pattern is evident in the Lamech segment analysis below. Methuselah married Naamah, his cousin, the daughter of Lamech the Elder. Naamah named their first-born son Lamech, after her father. The two different Lamech are designated Lamech the Elder and Lamech the Younger.
This pattern is found also with Esau the Elder and Esau the Younger.

Possibly Enoch was the patrilineal cousin of a daughter of Set the Nubian.This means that Enoch and Set were brothers and there is a connection to the 8th century B.C. Napatan rulers of Nubia who conquered Egypt. Set was a royal name among the Napatan Nubians.

Bronze figure of Napatan ruler
Cain and Seth are rulers and their royal lines are traced in the Genesis 4 and 5 king lists. Throughout the Bible Cain is posed as the archetype of the earthly ruler. He was a sent-away son who established his territory in the land of Nod/Nok "east of Eden" (Gen. 4:16). This places Cain in the Nile Valley or in southern Arabia where the name Cain/Kain/Kayan/Qayan is commonly found. The name Set is found among peoples living in the Upper Nile or ancient Nubia.

There is evidence for this in 1 Chronicles 1:50 which mentions an important Horite bride - Matred - which is equivalent to Menmaatre, the throne name of Seti I

Seti is a name associated with Piye which 1 Chronicles identifies with the "city of Pai" (1 Chronicles 1:50). Piye's son was called Hor, a reference to Horus, the son of the Creator. King Piye of Egypt installed a black granite falcon head image of Horus at his capital in Napata.

The ruler-priest devotees of the Creator and Horus were called Horites. Genesis 36 lists the Horite Hebrew rulers of Edom.

Related reading: Royal Names in GenesisThe Nubian Context of YHWH; Abraham's Habiru Ancestors; From Cain to Jesus Christ; Was the Land of Nod Enoch's Territory?; Genesis on the Ancient Kingdom Builders

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